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Could Sedation Dentistry Be the Best Cure for Dental Anxiety?


Written by prositesdentalDec 31 • 3 minute read

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Most of us feel a little anxiety around the idea of going in for a dental appointment. But some of us really get out of sorts and experience tremendous anxiety and fear when we visit the dentist – especially when having a major procedure like a tooth extraction or a root canal.

Are you someone who experiences dental anxiety? If so, there is a good chance sedation dentistry could help you with that anxiety and calm those nerves!

Let’s explore some of the ins and outs of sedation dentistry, and examine some of the various options and techniques that are available to help.

Let’s explore some of the ins and outs of sedation dentistry, and examine some of the various options and techniques that are available to help.

Sedation is a practice in which your dentist provides a sedative at the start of or before your dental procedure. There are a few different kinds of sedation, and only one that provides complete sedation.

These Are The Most Popular Kinds Of Sedation Dentistry:

Oral Sedatives: These include drugs such as Diazepam, which can help you to relax during a dental appointment. You generally take these medications about one hour before the start of your scheduled dental appointment in order to allow the drugs to take effect in your system. You generally remain awake for the duration of your dental appointment, but feel considerably more relaxed and less anxious than you would have otherwise.

Intravenous Sedatives: This type of sedative is known as a general anesthetic. These sedatives are administered via an IV, or intravenous injection.They put you into a deep sleep until its effect wears off, allowing you to rest until the procedure is complete. There is also a less powerful type of IV sedative that can put you into a “twilight sleep,” a state in which you remain conscious, but feel sleepy and remember little if any of the procedure.

Nitrous Oxide: This is an inhaled gas that helps you to relax during your dental procedure. Nitrous oxide treatment serves only to help you relax during the treatment and wears off fairly quickly. For this reason, your dentist may allow you to drive yourself home after the treatment is over and the effects have worn off fully.

What type of dental sedation is right for you?

It may be tempting to assume that IV sedation would be best because they are the strongest and keep you unconscious for the duration of the procedure. However, it is important to keep in mind that general anesthetics also come along with the strongest and most significant side effects. This sedation must also be administered and monitored by someone trained in anesthetics, and some dentists only offer it for specific procedures. You’ll need to evaluate all your options before simply choosing a general anesthetic option.

Sleep Dentistry

 “Sleep dentistry” refers to dental procedures that include IV sedation. If you are preparing to undergo sedation, be sure to mention any allergies you may be aware of, and especially any reactions that you have ever had to any form of anesthesia in the past. Providing this information will help your dentist ensure that they can provide you with safe and effective treatment.

Local Anesthetics

During treatment planning with your dentist, you will also be able to discuss options involving local anesthetics. These anesthetics are applied directly into the site where the dental procedure is being performed, and numb the area completely for the duration of the procedure. This prevents you from experiencing any pain and can make the whole experience a lot easier to handle.

If you don’t experience dental anxiety, a simple local anesthetic might be the only sedation you need to help you make it through your dental procedure successfully.

Who is sedation dentistry for?

People have a variety of reasons for preferring sedation dentistry. Such reasons include:

• You have a general anxiety disorder that causes you to experience anxiety during daily life, including dental visits.

• You have a specific phobia pertaining to dental procedures or dentists.

• You have had bad experiences with dental procedures in the past which affects the way you feel about them.

• You have a smaller mouth than most people which affects the ability of dentists to reach inside during procedures.

• You have especially sensitive mouth nerves.

• You have a resistance to local anesthetics like Novocain or Benzocaine which causes them to be ineffective on you.

If you are affected by any of these, talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry. Using sedation dentistry, your dental care provider can make it easier for you to receive important treatments such as fillings, extractions, root canal therapy, dental implants, crowns, bridges, and more.

Exceptions where sedation dentistry may be used during a normal dental visit :

It’s unlikely you will need dental sedation if you are just receiving a simple tooth cleaning, dental x-ray, or tooth whitening procedure. If you experience a great deal of anxiety around these procedures, however, you may be an exception and be allowed to use dental for routine visits.

Have you or a friend had a positive experience with sedation dentistry? Did it make it easier for you to make it through the treatment and help you reduce anxiety? Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below!

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